“LOVE OF MIRTH AND PLEASURE!”
OPENING COMMENT by Robert
GOD employed a shepherd, a herdsman, to reprove and warn the people. Those to whom God gives his services’ abilities ought not to be despised for their origin or employment.
The evil passions of the heartbreak out in various forms, but the Lord looks to our motives, as well as our conduct. Those that deal cruelly shall be cruelly dealt with. Other nations were reckoned with for injuries done to men; Judah is reckoned with for dishonour done to God.
Judah despised the law of the Lord, and he justly gave them up to strong delusion; nor was it any excuse for their sin, that they were the lies, the idols, after which their fathers walked. The worst abominations and most grievous oppressions have been committed by some of the professed worshippers of the Lord. Such conduct leads many to unbelief and vile idolatry. We often need to be reminded of the mercies we have received, which add much to the evil of the sins we have committed. They had helps for their souls, which taught them how to make good use of their earthly enjoyments and were, therefore, more valuable.
Faithful ministers are great blessings to many people, but God raises them up to be so. Sinners’ own consciences will witness that he has not wanted to them in the means of grace.
They did what they could to lead believers aside. Satan and his agents are busy to corrupt the minds of young people who look heavenward; they overcome many by drawing them to the love of mirth and pleasure and into drinking company.
Multitudes of young men who bade fair as professors of religion have erred through strong drink and have been undone forever . The Lord complains of sin, especially his professing people’s sins, as a burden to him.
And though his long-suffering be tired, his power is not, and so the sinner will find to his cost. When men reject God’s word, adding obstinacy to sin, and this becomes the general character of a people, they will be given up to misery, notwithstanding all their boasted power and resources. May we then humble ourselves before the Lord, for all our ingratitude and unfaithfulness.
The distinguishing favours of God to us, if they do not restrain from sin, shall not exempt from punishment. They could not expect communion with God unless they first sought peace with him.
Where there is not friendship, there can be no fellowship. God and man cannot walk together, except they are agreed. Unless we seek his glory, we cannot walk with him. Let us not presume on outward privileges without special, sanctifying grace.
The threats of God’s word and providence against the sin of man are certain and certainly show that the judgments of God are at hand. Nor will God remove the affliction he has sent till it has done its work.
The evil of sin is from ourselves; it is our own doing; but the evil of trouble is from God, and is his doing, whoever are the instruments. This should engage us patiently to bear public troubles and to study to answer God’s meaning in them.
The whole of the passage shows that natural evil, or troubles, and not moral evil, or sin, is here meant. The warning given to a careless world will increase its condemnation another day. Oh, the amazing stupidity of an unbelieving world, that will not be wrought upon by the terrors of the Lord, and that despise his mercies! That power, which is an instrument of unrighteousness, will justly be brought down and broken. What is got and kept wrongfully, will not be kept long. Some are at ease, but there will come a day of visitation, and on that day, all they are proud of and put confidence in shall fail them.
God will inquire into the sins of which they have been guilty in their houses, the robbery they have stored up, and the luxury in which they lived.MMen’s houses’s houses’e pomp and pleasantness do not fortify against God’s judgments but make sufferings the more grievous and vexatious.
Yet a remnant, according to the election of grace, will be secured by our great and good Shepherd, as from the jaws of destruction, in the worst times.
What is got by extortion is commonly used to provide for the flesh and to fulfil the lusts thereof. What is got by oppression cannot be enjoyed with satisfaction. How miserable are those whose confidence in unscriptural observances only prove that they believe a lie! Let us see to it that our faith, hope, and worship, are warranted by the Divine word. See the folly of carnal hearts; they wander from one creature to another, seeking for something to satisfy, and labour for that which satisfies not; yet, after all, they will not incline their ear to Him in whom they might find all they can want.
Preaching the gospel is as rain, and everything withers where this rain is wanting. It was well if people were as wise for their souls as they are for their bodies; and, when they have not this rain near, would go and seek it where it is to be had.
As the Israelites persisted in rebellion and idolatry, the Lord was coming against them as an adversary. Ere long, we must meet our God in judgment; but we shall not be able to stand before him if he tries us according to our doings. If we would prepare to meet our God with comfort, at the awful period of his coming, we must now meet him in Yeshua (Christ Jesus), the eternal Son of the Father, who came to save lost sinners. We must seek him while he is to be found.
The convincing, awakening word must be heard and heeded, as well as words of comfort and peace; for whether we hear or forbear, the word of God shall take effect. The Lord still proclaims mercy to men, but they often expect deliverance from such self-invented forms as make their condemnation sure.
While they refuse to come to Christ and to seek mercy in and by him, that they may live, the fire of Divine wrath breaks forth upon them. Men may make an idol of the world but will find it cannot protect. The same almighty power can, for repenting sinners, easily turn affliction and sorrow into prosperity and joy, and as easily turn the prosperity of daring sinners into utter darkness. Evil times will not bear plain dealing; that is, evil men will not.
And these men were evil men indeed when the wise and good men thought it in vain even to speak to them. Those who will seek and love that which is good may help to save the land from ruin.
It behooves us to plead God’s spiritual promises, to beseech him to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. The Lord is ever ready to be gracious to the souls that seek him, and then piety and every duty will be attended to. But as for sinful Israel, God’s judgments had often passed by them, now they shall pass through them.
Woe unto those that desire the day of the Lord’s judgments, that wish for times of war and confusion; as some who long for changes, hoping to rise upon the ruins of their country! But this should be so great a desolation that nobody could gain by it.
The day of the Lord will be a dark, dismal, gloomy day to all impenitent sinners. When God makes a day dark, all the world cannot make it light. Those who are not reformed by the judgments of God will be pursued by them; if they escape one, another stands ready to seize them.
A pretense of piety is double iniquity, and so it will be found. The people of Israel copied the crimes of their forefathers. The law of worshipping the Lord our God, is, Him only we must serve.
Professors thrive so little because they have little or no communion with God in their duties. They were led captive by Satan into idolatry, therefore God caused them to go into captivity among idolaters.
Those are looked upon as doing well for themselves, who do well for their bodies; but we are here told what their ease is and their woe. Here is a description of the pride, security, and sensuality, for which God would reckon.
Careless sinners are everywhere in danger; but those at ease in Zion, who are stupid, vainly confident, and abusing their privileges, are in the greatest danger. Yet many fancy themselves the people of God, who are living in sin, and in conformity to the world.
But the examples of others’ ruin forbid us to be secure. Those who are set upon their pleasures are commonly careless of the troubles of others, but this is a great offence to God.
Those who placed their happiness in the pleasures of sense, and set their hearts upon them, shall be deprived of those pleasures. Those who try to put the evil day far from them, find it nearest to them.
How dreadful, how miserable, is the case of those whose eternal ruin the Lord himself has sworn; for he can execute his purpose, and none can alter it! Those hearts are wretchedly hardened that will not be brought to mention God’s name and to worship him when the hand of God is gone out against them, when sickness and death are in their families.
Those that will not be tilled as fields shall be abandoned as rocks. When our services of God are soured with sin, his providences will justly be made bitter to us. Men should take warning not to harden their hearts, for those who walk in pride, God will destroy.
God bears long, but he will not always bear with provoking people. The remembrance of the mercies we formerly received, like the produce of the earth of the former growth, should make us submissive to the will of God when we meet with disappointments in the latter growth.
The Lord has many ways of humbling a sinful nation. Whatever trouble we are under, we should be most earnest with God for the forgiveness of sin. Sin will soon make great people small. What will become of Israel, if the hand that should raise him be stretched out against him?
See the power of prayer. See what a blessing praying people are to a land. See how ready, how swift God is to show mercy; how he waits to be gracious. Israel was a wall, a strong wall, which God himself reared as a defense to his sanctuary.
The Lord now seems to stand upon this wall. He measures it; it appears to be a bowing, bulging wall. Thus, God would bring the people of Israel to the trial, would discover their wickedness, and the time will come when those who have been spared often shall be spared no longer. But the Lord still calls Israel his people. The repeated prayer and success of the prophet should lead us to seek the Saviour.
CLOSING PRAYER by Robert
Father as you have us in your presence and hold us in your hands, we ask for your gentleness to be upon us that we may know how it feels and are able to share it. Receive our devotion and submission to your will as dedicated servants humbly bowing before your throne, Shape and mould us into the disciples you desire Father. Fill us with your wisdom that we might hold no fear or doubt as we go forward sharing your light, living water, love, compassion, and healings as your “Modern Day Disciples. This we pray in your name Yeshua Amen and Amen.
Remember these articles are from a humble obedient servant doing Yeshua’s bidding as He reveals His warnings. I pray our Lord Yeshua blesses each and everyone along with your families. Go in peace.
Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”